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India-Pakistan situation is dangerous, says Rice

December 12, 2008 09:10 IST

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The United States has said that although there is 'no bellicose talk' from either India or Pakistan in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Mumbai, the situation is 'obviously dangerous and Islamabad [Images] needs to act forcefully'.

"I heard no bellicose talk from either of these (India and Pakistan) governments. I heard instead a very deep concern to deal with the situation. Fortunately, we are in a little bit better situation than we were in 2001-02 -- when the two states were on the verge of war--- because India and Pakistan have done a lot of work to improve their relations," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] said in an interview to CNBC.

"Frankly, the US has better relations with India and Pakistan than in 2001-02. But it is obviously a dangerous situation, and Pakistan needs to act and act forcefully."

The US Secretary of State said that purpose of her visit to India, after the terror attack, was to send a very strong message of solidarity and support to Indian people, their government and particularly to the people of Mumbai because this was a terrible attack, a heinous crime.

"And I think the Indians rightly were concerned to make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and that follow-on attacks are prevented," she said.

About her Pakistan visit, she said, "I then went on to Pakistan to emphathise with the civilian government, the government that I think wants to do the right things concerning terrorism."

"This was a time to act, that the fact that Pakistani soil had been used by these non-state actors to carry out an attack like this, in which, by the way, Americans also died, was of deep concern to the United States."

"And so that was the purpose of the trip, and so far, at least some steps seem to be taken that may lead to -- to those two goals, bringing the perpetrators to justice and getting India and Pakistan to cooperate to make certain that future attacks don't take place," Rice said in an interview to CNBC.

The top State Department official was asked what she told India as to what would be an appropriate response to terrorism.

"I talked about a response that would actually be commensurate with the goals. The goals are to -- to bring the perpetrators to justice and to prevent a follow-on attack. Anything that in fact would make the situation worse or might introduce unintended consequences is not going to be good for the stability of the region or really it isn't going to address what needs to be done. And that was also my message to India," Rice replied.




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